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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Good riddance, AT&T. No robocalls, I save $80 per month

AT&T plans to throw this rabbit in the briar patch come 5/12 by "permanently" disconnecting my U-verse "service" that they promised me - in writing - for a "Grand Total" of $34.95 per month, then jacked up the price, and I refused to pay. Actually, I view AT&T's high-handed behavior as an opportunity.

For quite some time, I've been concerned not only about a constant barrage of robocalls, but also the fact that I've been spending way too much time sitting in front of my computer. Prolonged sitting isn't good for anyone, neither is the glare from monitor screens. Adding insult to injury, computers tend to be addictive, especially for folks like me who are retired and like to write. I've exchanged one bad habit - watching TV - for another. Fortunately, writing is only one of many interests, and the others cost a lot less than the $80 per month I've been handing over to AT&T.

An extended break in routine is an idea whose time has come, and I look forward to the peace and quiet of not being bothered with robocalls. Never wanted a cell phone, and I refuse to shell out one cent to avoid harassment that greedy, dishonest carriers like AT&T could have eliminated years ago. Things have gotten to the point where I rarely answer my phone. Pay to be harassed? No, thanks.

Last but not least is the satisfaction of not handing over about $200 per year in extra taxes to the corrupt state of South Carolina via the phone-tax scam. Dunno what the state's scumball legislators do with all the revenue they rake in, but they sure don't do anything for consumers. It's been a real hoot watching the South Carolina Attorney General's Office, the so-called Department of Consumer Affairs, and AT&T squirm after I obtained written evidence of AT&T's false advertising and insisted that all communications to "resolve" my complaint with Consumer Affairs be done by e-mail. AT&T and Consumer Affairs - bullies that they are - thought they could force me to go "off record" by AT&T constantly ringing my phone a ridiculous number of times, about 85 on at least one occasion.

America has fallen prey to a government - Repukes n Demagogues alike - owned by unscrupulous corporations. The situation is propped up by a cowardly, brain-dead public that accepts anything dished out by this warmongering, police-state oligarchy and its presstitute mainstream media. Just for the record, I don't blog under any illusion that my efforts will change a thing. Really, folks: I just enjoy speaking the truth.

Will using library computers and pay phones work out? I dunno. It'll be quite a change, but it's worth a try, especially when ya factor in the $80 per month I'll be saving. Considering what I've refused to pay AT&T, I'll come out of the starting gate at least $330 ahead.

Let the game begin.

Update 5/12/2015 - At least for the time-being, I still have partial access to the Internet. I've been without phone service for almost a month, and robocalls have continued, along with efforts by AT&T to contact me by phone instead of e-mail. AT&T is now billing me for $183.76, and I've updated the SC Dept. of Consumer Affairs, encouraging them to refer this matter to the appropriate authorities for an investigation of AT&T for fraudulent business practices.  

Update 5/13/2015 - Speaking of fraudulent business practices, AT&T and other carriers have been scamming customers with unauthorized charges, $50-70 million settlement reached this week with Sprint and Verizon. Kansas Attorney General said it well: "Consumers have a right to know what services they are signing up for and to be clearly informed about the cost of those services." 

Update 6/19/2015 - AT&T disconnected my "service" on 5/13/2015. So far so good without home phone or Internet. KNOWING my phone ain't gonna ring is jus' flat out DELICIOUS, and I have no shortage of better things to do than sit in front of a computer all day. Hope to publish a blog post about how things have been going - in the meantime, here's to PEACE and QUIET. :-)

Update 7/1/2015 - It wuzza hoot seein' AT&T get fined millions (drop in the bucket for 'em, of course) for misleading customers. I agree with remarks posted on Consumers Union's Facebook site: AT&T's customers should be reimbursed.